A bit more #blogmas this #RomanceTuesdays feat. #HarlequinHeartwarming | “The Christmas Promise” by Janice Carter

Posted Tuesday, 19 January, 2021 by jorielov , , , , 0 Comments

#RomanceTuesdays badge created by Jorie in Canva.

Acquired Book By: I started hosting with Prism Book Tours at the end of [2017], having noticed the badge on Tressa’s blog (Wishful Endings) whilst I was visiting as we would partake in the same blog tours and/or book blogosphere memes. I had to put the memes on hold for several months (until I started to resume them (with Top Ten Tuesday) in January 2018). When I enquiried about hosting for Prism, I found I liked the niche of authors and stories they were featuring regularly. This is how I came to love discovering the Harlequin Heartwarming authors & series as much as it has been an honour to regularly request INSPY stories and authors. Whenever I host for Prism, I know I am in for an uplifting read and a journey into the stories which give me a lot of joy to find in my readerly queue of #nextreads. It is an honour to be a part of their team of book bloggers.

I received a complimentary copy of “The Christmas Promise” direct from the author Beth Carpenter in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.comThe joy of reading a #newtomeauthor of #HarlequinHeartwarming:

Happily read through my Harlequin Heartwarming archives!

Interestingly enough, as I’ve been revealling on my posts and reviews this January, my readerly life has taken quite a few hits in recent weeks due to current events and the state of the country. It is hard not to find your readings sidelined whilst you’re watching the news and/or trying to resolve what the news is telling you. However, I made a bit of headway by focusing on the opening pages of a Historical Romance yesterday and of course, the Fantasy novel Fly Free thankfully managed to greet me before anything was able to segue me out of reading whilst it is the Harlequin Heartwarming novels which keep pulling me back into reading due to their gentle stories and their uplifting reveals.

Towards that end, this coming Saturday, I will be able to release my thoughts on behalf of the second #BlackwellSisters novel Montana Wishes as I withheld it the week of the 6th and have been rounding out my thoughts on the story ever since. It is good to finally be able to share those revelations and to carry-on with the series, as the third novel Montana Dreams is written by our 30th January @SatBookChat guest author Anna J. Stewart!

Today, I am focusing on a new Heartwarming novelist, Janice Carter, of whom I originally thought was a standalone novelist with Heartwarming but this particular novel turnt out to be part of a series! I love reading stories within Heartwarming because they happen to be the kind of respite I need in today’s chaotic world as much a lovely exit from adversely unique circumstances which arise in all of our lives – their the kind of story you can just soak into without realising the break their giving you is a balm to your soul. Their also the stories I can read betwixt and between my migraines (which thankfully I’m still free of right now in the Winter) due to the larger print of their novels by Heartwarming.

Find out what my thoughts were about The Christmas Promise
and see if this Heartwarming novelist is meant to be on your TBR, too!

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A bit more #blogmas this #RomanceTuesdays feat. #HarlequinHeartwarming | “The Christmas Promise” by Janice CarterThe Christmas Promise
by Janice Carter
Source: Author via Prism Book Tours

The Christmas season…
Is perfect for new beginnings

After a tragedy seventeen years ago, author Ella Jacobs never wanted to come back to Lighthouse Cove. Not to the whispered rumors, the judgment or even to Ben Winters, the boy she loved. Now she’s returned in time for Christmas—and some much-needed closure. But old flames burn bright. Can Ella find her way back to Ben…or will the secrets of their past extinguish their love for good?

Genres: Contemporary (Modern) Fiction (post 1945), Contemporary Romance, Romance Fiction


Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781335179715

Published by Harlequin Heartwarming

on 12th January, 2021

Format: Larger Print (Mass Market Paperback)

Pages: 384

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The Lighthouse Cove series:

His Saving Grace (book one)

The Christmas Promise* (book two)

*initially I thought this was a one-off novel unattached to a series however in the author’s note of the story, she discloses the connection to “His Saving Grace” as well as mentions the series name. Interestingly this is the first novel of a series by Heartwarming where the series name itself is not included on the back cover of the novel – nor is it listed as a series online from the sites I check. I am thankful the author disclosed the connections esp for those of us who read serial fiction!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Published by: Harlequin Heartwarming (@HarlequinBooks) | imprint of Harlequin Books

Formats Available: Paperback* and Ebook

*Harlequin has the luxury of offering Regular, Large & Larger Print editions which I personally can attest are lovely to be reading! Especially after a migraine or when my eyes are fatigued.

Converse via: #JaniceCarter and #HarlequinHeartwarming

About Janice Carter

Janice Carter

Writing has been a passion for Janice Carter since elementary school but her second career after teaching began with the publication of a Harlequin Intrigue, many years ago. Since then, she's been very lucky to be able to do what she enjoys most - writing about the connections between people, their families and the places where they live. And of course, love is always at the heart of those connections.

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my review of the christmas promise:

I believe the reasons Carter outlines about pranks and the serious nature of how they can lead to altering the lives of those involved is why I was never privy to them myself. I had enough childhood mishaps on my own misadventures without needing to throw a prank into the mix! The details of what happened in the past are glossed over a bit in the beginning of The Christmas Promise – wherein Carter touches on how Grace, her brother Ben and Ella (the girl who got away!) are connected to each other in sequencing of the story. However, I was hoping for a few more details about the prank itself but I had a suspicion those details were being saved for Ben’s reunion with Ella or a larger reveal lateron in the story – without having read His Saving Grace which I presumed was about how Grace was brought back to Lighthouse Cove, I felt I was treading water a bit understanding the fuller scope of how all of these young persons were connected through teenage misguided adventure and tragic loss; as it was revealled there was a death related to the prank itself.

The pretense is running thick in this story – for starters, Ben and Grace are practically walking on eggshells round Ella and of course, at this part of the junction of their lives re-crossing together no one is talking about the elephant in the room either! There is this ghostly presence of their past lives sneaking round the corners of their reunion and snaking its way through their conversations to the point where none of them are actually getting on very well at all. Ben and Grace I think both believed this reunion would have gone differently for different reasons – as each of them had their own motivations for seeing Ella again. Yet for Ella’s defence, she had high expectations of her own and none of those pieces of the puzzle seemed to be yielding to a reunion where any of three were going to get through this unscarred.

Once Carter re-broached the details of the prank and the aftermath of it – from both Ella and Grace’s perspectives you could easily see the churning of emotional trauma and the hollowness of the years which had eroded through their lives. Both Ella and Grace were trying to contend with the grave mistakes of the past against the present whilst they each had their own reasons for not wanting to re-open doors on the past nor try to find a way to reconcile nearly twenty years worth of ill thoughts and angst they each harboured against each other. The sad bit is – a lot of this should have been dealt with when they were younger – to have allowed the truth to be let out far sooner than it had been now where it was allowed to fester and grow into this monster of bad memories and dangerous regrets.

You can feel the surge of emotional trauma percolating through their conversations and part of me questioned if they were going to be able to resolve this and find a way to move forward or if pieces of the past were going to simply linger and become unspoken tokens of a misspent youth?

After I learnt more of the details about the circumstances which united Ben, Grace and Ella together the harder I was finding myself gaining traction with the rest of the story after they revealled how the prank was set-up and why it was done. There is a lot of back and forth between the characters – where Grace and Ben are trying to convince Ella of their remorse and their sympathies for lost time and lost chances at amending their relationships, however, what was difficult for me was to feel invested in Ella’s side of the story. She was quite cold and obtuse through most of the first half of the novel – she was hurt and broken a bit inside by what the prank had down to her sense of self and how it had burdened her heart and soul as well. Grace and Ben by comparison were trying to make amends in their own ways with Ella but I just wasn’t feeling Ella was as sincerely focused on repairing the hurts of the past as much as she was seeking a vindictive way of proving why she was hurt and she want to inflict some of that knowledge about her  pain onto Ben and Grace.

Which is why of course I found myself waning in interest to read the rest of the story. I just couldn’t connect to the characters in a way where I wanted to know how the story ended. For me, it felt like they were stuck in this tidal-wave of misunderstandings and false truths, of where the past and the present were re-colliding together to where without direct communication and perhaps a mediator or therapist to help these three sort out their feelings and their memories, I wasn’t sure if any of them would be free of the weight of guilt and grief of their mutual pasts which were interlinked through a thoughtless prank of a teenager.

on the contemporary romantic styling of janice carter:

I knew quite immediately we were tucking close to Portland, Maine through the clues in setting and geographic location Carter infused into the opening chapters of her novel. The quick commute from Boston was also a dead giveaway as it isn’t that far up the coast from Boston to Portland, which is why Portland oft is confused as being part of Metro Boston! A bit like how in other places of the country, they tend to tack on smaller cities to larger metropolises even if you’re a few hours away in any one direction! Sometimes it is a bit confounding how they’ve sorted out why each larger city needs to cast a net over all points north south east and west of its location but apparently it is a sign of the times where smaller cities have more trouble standing on their own laurels.

You can connect to the lull of the ocean and the walking tour Carter provides for you during Ella and Ben’s awkward conversation as he tries to navigate speaking with her after the gap in their communication since they were teenagers. Time has not been kind to these three and with so much baggage between them it is a near miracle any of them can speak at all!

Carter has shown this story from different angles of entrance as much as how she’s painted the towne of Lighthouse Cove itself as a place where time has nearly forgotten itself and where other townes would have grown through the passage of time, this particular one was as weather worn as the people who resided there.

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This blog tour was courtesy of: Prism Book Tours

Prism Book Tours

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The Christmas Promise blog tour banner provided by Prism Book Tours and is used with permission.

Kindly click the banner to route yourself to the full schedule for this lovely blog tour and to see more readerly reactions to the story. As well as find out about the giveaway associated with the tour!

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I look forward to reading your thoughts & commentary!
Especially if you read the book or were thinking you might be inclined to read it.
I appreciate hearing different points of view especially amongst
readers who gravitate towards the same stories to read.
Bookish conversations are always welcome!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com#blogmas 2020 badge created by Jorie in Canva.

Enjoy the rest of my #blogmas posts!

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{SOURCES: Cover art of “The Christmas Promise”, synopsis and biography of the author Janice Carter as well as the blog tour banner and The Prism Book Tours badge were all provided by Prism Book Tours and used with permission. Post dividers and My Thoughts badge by Fun Stuff for Your Blog via Pure Imagination. Tweets embedded by codes provided by Twitter. Blog graphics created by Jorie via Canva: #RomanceTuesdays banner, blogmas badge and the Comment Box Banner.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2021.

I’m a social reader | I tweet my reading life

About jorielov

I am self-educated through local libraries and alternative education opportunities. I am a writer by trade and I cured a ten-year writer’s block by the discovery of Nanowrimo in November 2008. The event changed my life by re-establishing my muse and solidifying my path. Five years later whilst exploring the bookish blogosphere I decided to become a book blogger. I am a champion of wordsmiths who evoke a visceral experience in narrative. I write comprehensive book showcases electing to get into the heart of my reading observations. I dance through genres seeking literary enlightenment and enchantment. Starting in Autumn 2013 I became a blog book tour hostess featuring books and authors. I joined The Classics Club in January 2014 to seek out appreciators of the timeless works of literature whose breadth of scope and voice resonate with us all.

"I write my heart out and own my writing after it has spilt out of the pen." - self quote (Jorie of Jorie Loves A Story)

read more >> | Visit my Story Vault of Book Reviews | Policies & Review Requests | Contact Jorie

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Posted Tuesday, 19 January, 2021 by jorielov in Blog Tour Host, Contemporary Romance, Prism Book Tours, Romance Fiction




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